One of five major Rinzai Zen temples in Kamakura, located next to the Kita Kamakura station. It was founded in1282 in thanks for the defeat of the Mongols and a place to pray for the soldiers who died in those battles. Zen in Japan, and particularly in Kamakura, has always been closely associated with warriors and military might.|
As that sweet monk Hakuin 白隱 1686-1769, mid Tokugawa period, the one who brushed those beautiful zen cartoons, wrote:
"A warrior must from the beginning to the end be physically strong. In his attendance on his duties and in his relationships with others the most rigid punctiliousness and propriety are required. His hair must be properly dressed, his garments in the strictest order, and his swords must be fastened at his side. With this exact and proper deportment, the true meditation stands forth with an overflowing splendor. Mounted on a sturdy horse, the warrior can ride forth to face an uncountable horde of enemies as though he were riding into a place empty of people. the valiant, undaunted expression on his face reflects his practise of the peerless, true, un interrupted meditation sitting. Meditationg this way, the warrior can accomplish in one month what it takes the monk a year to do; in three days he can open up fpr himself benefits that would take a monk a hundred days"
Hakuin 1686-1769 Rinzai Zen Master Translated by Philip B. Yampolsky in his book The Zen Master Hakuin, Selected Writings, Columbia University Press